J. Smyth Carter.

The story of Dundas, being a history of the County of Dundas from 1784 to 1904 online

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completed under the direction of skilled engineers, and we are making deep
and carefully gradient drains, it should be possible to improve this river
sufficiently to meet present conditions. There are fully 300,000 acres within
the watersheds that lead to the Nation west of Chesterville. An average of
eighty-five cents an acre, or five cents a year for thirty years on this, would
supply $250,000. This annual levy would be very little if any more than many
farms have already paid or are paying for drains leading in, and would, if
properly applied, render flooding extremely rare.

As was noted early the St. Lawrence watershed widens as it goes east, so
that a considerable part of Williamsburg is on the southern slope, and that
township has four considerable drains that have their outlet in that river,
the Gogo, Oasselman & Dawley, Mattice and Saddlemire, the latter of which
is partly in Matilda. The aggregate length is nearly twenty miles, and their
cost a little over $13,000, nearly $2,000 of which is contributed by Matilda.

The northern half of Winchester and Mountain drain largely to what is
called the Castor, a stream that joins the Nation about twenty miles northeast
of Chesterville, as much of the land on that slope is swampy, several large
drains are projected or in course of construction.

In Winchester they have the Black creek, five miles long, costing $12,500;
Henderson creek, four miles, $3,250; and the Petite Castor, eighteen miles,
costing $75,000; a total of twenty-seven miles, and $90,750. This latter drain
passes into Russell county.

Mountain has the Silver creeek, thirteen miles, costing $22,000; Castor
extension, six miles, $8,000; Eighth Concession, two and one-quarter miles.
$4,000; and the Allen or Canal, eleven miles, $13,700, a total of thirty-
two and one-half miles, and costing $55,700. All these drains find
their outlet through the Castor to the Nation, except four miles of the last
mentioned, which runs from the northwest corner of the township to the
Bideau. It seems to cross the height of lands between this river and the
Nation, draining both ways. Much of the work on these northern drains is
not completed, some of it scarcely begun, but the Gilbert Dredging Company
have been working at the Petite Castor drain two or three years, using a
suction dredge and steam ditcher; considerable progress has been made on


others, and it is probable tbat the whole watershed will b effectually drained
in the near future.

Since the inception of the Nation river drainage twenty years ago, andinclud*
ing that work, about 200 miles of drains have been laid out under the Municipal
Drainage Act, the estimated actual cost of which exceeds 8300,000. It is
doubtful if any money or effort expended in the public interest has given or
will give better results. The law is a somewhat difficult one to administer,
local interests conflict and are not easily reconciled, but it is scarcely possible
to impoverish a people by taxing them for drains and roads. The most of the
money raised is paid back to them for labor. It simply stimulates to greater
effort, and in addition to making their farms more productive and valuable,
beautifies the county and strengthens local patriotism.



WHEN the Quebec Act was passed in 1774 Canada constituted but one
province, divided into two districts. The western district, which embraced a
section of what later became Upper Canada, was designated "Montreal." In
1788 this district was divided into four districts, the most eastern of which
was Lunenburgh, comprising the townships of Lancaster, Charlottenburg,
Cornwall, Osnabruck, Williamsburg, Matilda, Edwardsburg, Augusta, and
Elizabethtown . Each of these townships extended north to the Ottawa river.

In 1791 the country was divided into two provinces, Upper and Lower Canada,
respectively, and by an Act of Parliament, Oct. 15, 1792, the district of Lun-
enburgh became the Eastern District. A division occurred in 1798, when the
Johnstown District was set apart, thus limiting the Eastern District to the
counties of Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott and Russell. In 1816 the
last two counties were withdrawn and framed into the Ottawa District. The
boundaries of the Eastern District suffered no further change, being the same
as that now denned by the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glen-

Until the year 1841 the magistrates in Quarter Session, in addition to their
judicial duties, controlled the affairs of the district, such as the collection and
expenditure of the revenue, the decision of all questions relating to county
property, and the construction and repair of roads and bridges. This method
was modified in 1841 by the establishment of district councils. The members
of the new governing body were elected by each township at the annual
meeting in January. Any township, in which the number of voters exceeded
three hundred, was entitled to two representatives, while those not so popu-
lous in that regard sent but one. The warden received his appointment from
the Government, and four annual meetings of the council were held. The
members were elected for a period of three years, one third of their number
to retire at the close of each year. The retiring councillors at the close of the


first and second year were determined by "drawing lots" at the last meeting
of the first ytear and thereafter, those longest in office dropping out.

The members of the first Eastern District Council were : John Flagg,
Matilda ; James Con way, Mountain ; John Archibald and John W. Baker,
Osnabruck ; Adam Cockburn, Finch ; Donald A. McDonell and Adam John-
ston, Cornwall ; Duncan McCallum, Roxborough ; John Cameron and Ken-
neth McLauchlin, Charlottenburg ; John McLennan and Duncan Mclntyre,
Lancaster ; Alex. Chisholm and John Stewart, Lochiel ; Donald Cattanach
and John McRae, Kenyon.

The system of district councils soon passed away. The term "district" was
abolished ; the province was more properly divided into counties, and muni-
cipal institutions were created by an Act passed in 1849. By the new plan
the several municipal councils in each county were annually elected, the
reeves and deputy reeves of which constituted the county council. By the
latter the warden was chosen, and the clerk, treasurer and other officers ap-
pointed. The collection and expenditure of local revenues and the manage-
ment of municipal property was placed in the hands of the several munici-
palities, while to the County Council was allotted the control of the county
revenues and property, and of such roads and bridges as lie between or con-
nect townships. The following is a list of the members of the first Counties'
Council for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, elected in 1850 : Donald Mc-
Pherson, John Harkness, Duncan McCallum, Henry Merkley, Alex. McDon-
ell (Lochiel).Adam Cockburn, Hugh Mill, George Fitchell, Charles LeClair,
Alex. McDonell, Geo. J. Dixon, Donald A. McDonald, Samuel Ault, John S.
McDonald, Donald McDonell (Cornwall), Owen Quigley, D. E. Mclntyre,
William Swayne, Hon. Alex. Fraser.

Those who formed the last Council for these counties, in 1896, under the
privileges of the Act of 1849, are as follows: Charlottenburg township, William
McPherson, D. J. McDonald, Angus A. McDonell; Lancaster township,
Duncan C. McRae, John B. Snider; Kenyon township, James Fraser (deceased,
his successor being D. C. Campbell,) Donald A. Campbell, John A. Campbell;
Lochiel township, A. R. McDougall, John A. McRae, R. F. McRae; Alex-
andria, D. A. McArthur; Maxville, James Burton; Lancaster village, Neil
McGillis; Roxborough township, Alexander Fraser, Thomas Dey, John Craw-
ford; Finch township, F. D. McNaughton, Simon Hutt, Hugh A. McMillan !
Osnabruck township, James Martin, I. O. Shaver, George Kerr; Cornwall
township, Donald McDonald James Groves, James Myers; Cornwall town,
William Hodge, Robert Conroy, Peter E. Campbell; Winchester village,
Mahlon Bailey; Winchester township, Frank Elliott, Jeremiah F. Cass;
Mountain township, George W. Steacy, M. D., Isaac Kinney; Matilda town-


ship, Carmi Locke, Edward Foster, Samuel Smyth; Iroquois, Charles E.
Cameron; Morrisburg, John H. Meikle; Chesterville, Wesley B. Lawson;
Williamsburg township, Charles T. Whittaker, Eiley M. Beckstead, Robert

After being memorialized for several years in reference to certain desired
changes, the Legislature passed what is known as the Counties 1 Council Act
of 1896. By this Act the counties were divided into thirteen divisions, each
having two representatives, who are elected every two years, thus reducing
the membership from forty-two to twenty-six, and yet the largest Counties'
Council in the Province. The plan of these divisions is as follows:

S torment First County Council Division, consisting of the town of Corn-
wall, and designated "Cornwall;" Second County Council Division, consisting
of the town of Cornwall and designated "St. Andrews;" Third County Council
Division, consisting of the township of Boxborough, and designated "Rox-
borough;" Fourth County Council Division, consisting of the township of
Finch, and designated "Glenpayne;" Fifth County Council Division, consisting
of the township of Osnabruck, and designated "Osnabruek."

Dundas First County Council Division, consisting of the township of Wil-
liamsburg and village of Morrisburg, and designated "Williamsburg;" Second
County Council Division, consisting of the township of Winchester and the
villages of Winchester and Chesterville, and designated "Winchester;" Third
County Council Division, consisting of the township of Mountain and polling
sub-divisions Nos. 5 and 6 of Matilda township, and designated "Mountain;"
Fourth County Council Division, consisting of Iroquois village and polling
sub-divisions Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Matilda town ship, and designated "Matilda.''

Glengarry First County Council Division, consisting of the township of
Charlottenburg, and designated "Charlottenburg;" Second County Council
Division, consisting of the township of Lancaster and Lancaster village, and
designated "Lancaster;" Third County Council Division, consisting of the
township of Lochiel and the town of Alexandria, and designated "Lochiel;"
Fourth County Council Division, consisting of the township of Kenyon and
the village of Maxville, and designated "Kenyon."

As to the general merits of the Counties' Council Act of 1896 opinion is divid-
ed. In justice to the new arrangement we may say that a considerable reduction
in the number of members has resulted, while the minorities now have a
chance to secure representation under duplicate system of voting. A political
equipoise is also maintained, for much as it is to be regretted, party politics
have a strong voice even in* municipal matters. The personnel of the Council
may in some counties be effected, as many capable men who could not
give the time required for both township and county affairs can find time
to serve the latter. On the other hand, public opinion to some extent


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cherishes the old municipal system. Many claim that the members as
now elected are not in touch with the requirements of their townships, as
they seldom attend the meetings of the municipal councils. Other objections
are also raided. Upon learning of the change the warden of a certain western
county thus expressed himself : "Gentlemen, we have reached a period in
our political life which is almost revolutionary."

To meet the objections to the new Act, the Legislature in 1903 added
an amendment which enables any municipal council, at a special meet-
ing called for that purpose, to pass a resolution declaring it expedient
that the Counties' Council be composed of the reeves of townships and
villages and mayors of towns not separated from the county. And if such
resolution is passed by a majority of the twenty municipalities in these
counties and fyled with the county clerk on or before the first day of October
in any year immediately preceding a year in which county councillors are to
be elected, the clerk shall certify the facts to the county council, and shall on
or before October 15th of the same year insert a notice of the passing of said
resolution in some newspaper published in the county town, and also in one
newspaper published in the county. After the publication of such notice it
shall not be necessary to hold an election for county councillors, but the
county council shall thereafter be composed of the reeves and mayors. A
further amendment was passed in 1904, which provides that if a majority of
the municipal councils pass resolutions as before described, the matter shall be
referred to the people and a vote taken on the question. This provision
appears to be a judicious one, as the disposition of the matter now remains
with the people instead of in the hands of five men from each municipality.

Since the introduction of the Act of 1898 the following have been members
of our Counties' Council :

Stormont 1897-8 Division No. 1, Jas. T. Kirkpatrick, Edward O'Calla-
ghan ; 2, Donald McDonald, Peter H. McDiarmid ; 3, John McLaughlin, Alex
Fraser ; 4, Hugh McMillan, Alex . Stark, M. D. ; 5, James Martin, James

Dundas Div. No. 1, John H. Merkle, James Dickey ; 2, Frank Elliott, Thos.
Hamilton ; 3, Geo. Steacy, James Shaw ; 4, Jas. CoUison, Thos. 8. Edwards,

Glengarry Div. No. 1, Alex. J. Grant, John M. McCallum ; 2, Duncan C.
McRae, John B. Snider ; 3, Alex. R. McDougall, Duncan A. McDonald ; 4,
James Clark, A. D. McRae.

Stormont, 1899-1900 Div. No. 1, James T. Kirkpatrick, Edward O'Calla*
ghan ;2, James L. Groves, Peter H. McDiarmid; 3, Duncan McDiarmid, Emer-
son Warner ; 4, Hugh McMillan, Alex. Stark, M. D. ; 5, Wm, A. Munro, M.
D M Alex. A. Weagant, M. D.


Dundas Div. No. 1, Michael J. Casselman, Jag. Dickey ; 2, Frank Elliott,
Christopher Irving ; 3, Geo. Steacy, M. D., Jas. Shaw ; 4, Wm. G. Smyth,
Thos. S. Edwards.

Glengarry Div. No. 1, Wm. McPherson, John McCallum ; 2, John A. Mc-
Dougal, John B. Snider ; 3, Donald A. Me Arthur, Duncan A . McDonald ; 4,
James Clark, Alex. D. McRae.

Stormont, 1901-02 Div. No. 1, Wm. Gallinger, Edward O'Callaghan ; 2,
James T. Groves, Philip J. McDonell ;3, Wm. J. McCart, Duncan McDiarmid ;

4, Hugh McMillan, Alex. Stark, M.D. ; 5, Jas. H/Bredin, Wm.A.Munro, M.D.

Dundas Div. No. 1, Michael J Gasselman, James Dickey ; 2, Wm. Faith,
Frank Elliott ; 3, Geo. Steacy, M.D., John M. Christie ; 4, Wm. G. Smyth,
Thos. S. Edwards.

Glengarry Div. No. 1, Hugh A. Cameron, Ewen Dingwall ; 2, John A. Mc-
Dougal, John B. Snider ; 3, Wm. D. McLeod, Donald A. Me Arthur ; 4, Alex.
D. McRae, Murdock McRae.

Stormont, 1903-4 Div. No. 1, Wm . Gallinger, Edward O'Callaghan ; 2, Jas.
L. Groves, Philip J. McDonell ; 3, Jas. Begg, Duncan H. McDiarmid ; 4, John
D. Mclnnis, Hugh McMillan ; 5, Geo. Kerr, Wm. A. Munro, M. D.

Dundas Div. No. 1, Michael J. Casselman, James Dickey ; 2, Jeremiah F.
Cass, Wesley Hamilton ; 3, John M. Christie, Geo. Steacy, M. D. ; 4, Thomas

5. Edwards, Wm. G. Smyth.

Glengarry Div. No. 1, Hugh A. Cameron, Ewen Dingwall ; 2, John A. Me-
Dougal, John B. Snider ; 3, Donald A. McArthur, John R. McQuaig ; 4, Alex.
D. McRae, Murdock McRae.

William Gallinger, one of the representatives of the toWn of Cornwall, is of
U. E. Loyalist descent. He was born in the township of Cornwall, but for a
number of years has been a resident of the town. His municipal career
covers a period of 13 years in the Town Council and 9 years in the Counties'

Edward O'Callaghan, also a representative of Cornwall, is a resident mer-
chant of the town. Mr. O'Callaghan is of Scotch and Irish parentage. His
experience at the Council board dates back to the 80's. He has also been con-
nected with the municipal affairs of the town, and was mayor one year.

James L. Groves, one of the representatives of St. Andrew's division, was
for a number of years a member of the township council, three years of
which he was reeve. His labors in the Counties' Council covers a period of
ten years. Mr. Groves' ancestors were U. E. Loyalists ; his grandfather was
in action at the battle of Lundy's Lane.

P. J. McDonell, Mr. Groves' colleague for St. Andrew's, is a resident farmer


of the division. As reeve and deputy reeve of Cornwall township for a num-
ber of years Mr.McDonell acquired some experience in municipal affairs before
entering the Counties' Council, where he is now serving his fourth year.

James Begg was born in 1841, in the township of Boxborough, which divis-
ion he now represents, having been first elected in 1903. His father, James Begg,
a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, came to Canada about 1827, settled in the
township of Boxborough, and for a number as years served as captain in a
militia company. His mother was of U. E. Loyalist descent. Mr. Begg has
long taken an interest in educational and public matters, holding several local
offices, and for four years was President of the Stormont Councy Farmers'
Institute. In June, 1870, he married Lucy Campbell, of Boxborough, their
family consisting of three sons and three daughters.

Duncan H. McDiarmid, a representative of Boxborough, was born of Scotch
parentage in 1866. His father was Hugh McDiarmid, and his mother, Isabella
McBae. The subject of our sketch was deputy reeve of Boxborough for five
years ; was first elected to the Counties' Council in January, 1903 ; was presi-
dent of Boxborough township fair for a time, and now holds a similar posi-
tion in connection with the Stormont Agricultural Society.

John D. Mclnnis, a native of Scotland, emigrated to Canada with his par-
ents in 1849, and settled in the township of Finch, where he still resides. Mr.
Mclnnis is Justice of the Peace and postmaster at Glenpayne. In January,
1903, he was elected to represent the township of Finch at the Counties' Coun-

Hugh McMillan, colleague of Mr. Mclnnis for Glenpayne, was one year
deputy reeve of Finch. He spent nine years in the Counties' Council, being
warden in 1902. His wife was Arietta, second daughter of John W. Smith, of
Winchester township. Mr. McMillan is of Scotch parentage, his father,
Angus, having been a native of Invernesshire, Scotland.

George Kerr, a native of Ireland, came to Canada about 1854, and settled in
the township of Osnabruck. He first turned his attention to farming, but soon
entered mercantile life, which pursuit he has successfully followed for nearly
forty years. Besides his flourishing stores at Wales, Farran's Point and
Aultsville, he is the owner of one grist and two saw mills and a number of
farms. He was in the municipal council fifteen yearsjin Counties' Council four-
teen years, and elected warden in 1890. Mr. Kerr has been chosen as the
Conservative candidate for Stormont in the coming Provincial election.

Dr. W. A. Munro was born a Chesterville in 1852, where he received his
primary education. Subsequently he attended the old Iroquois Grammar
School; entered Toronto University and graduated from that institution in
1877. His work as a medical practitioner includes six years at Avonmore and


twenty years at Newington. He is at present located at Cornwall, where
he enjoys a lucrative practice, and for the last six years has been a coroner
for the united counties. In the Counties' Council the Doctor and Mr. Kerr
represent the township of Osnabruck.

Michael J. Casselman, who resides on lot 35, concession 1, township of Wil-
liamsburg, and close to the village of Morrisburg, was born in Matilda
township. His parents were of U. E. Loyalist descent; his father being John
W. Casselman, his mother, Nancy Gar-lough. Mr. Casselman was first elected
to the Counties' Council in 1899, as representative of the Williamsburg
division, and in 1903 was chosen warden.

James Dickey, who has continuously represented Williamsburg div-
ision since the operation of the Act of 1896, had previously sat at
the Counties' Council board, and was warden one year during the 80's.
He was a member of the municipal council of Williamsburg for about twelve
years. Mr. Dickey's father emigrated from Ireland; his mother, Jane Purvis,
was a native of the township of Yonge, where the subject of our sketch was
born in 1835. Later the family moved to Williamsburg, and located on lot
36, concession 5.

J. F. Cass, son of the late Joseph Cass, of U. E. Loyalist descent, was born
in Winchester township. J. F. is at present resident of the village of Win-
chester, his occupation being that of drover and dealer in farm produce. He
is now serving his fourth year in the Counties' Council as one of the repre-
sentatives of the Winchester division.

Wesley Hamilton, colleague of the previously named representative, was
born in the township of Winchester in 1864. He is a successful farmer and
speculator, residing near the village of Chesterville. His entrance into public
life dates back to 1896, when he became a member of the municipal council,
and during the three subsequent years was assessor of Winchester township.
In 1903 he was elected as representative to the counties' parliament at
Cornwall. Mr. Hamilton has been a member of the Methodist church and
secretary of the Chesterville Sunday school for a period of twenty years.

John M. Christie, farmer, also general agent for B. Bell & Son, of St.
George, Ont., was born in the township of Mountain, which division he now
represents. His father, D. W. Christie, a native of Scotland, served fifteen
years in the Mountain municipal council. Mr. Christie was first elected to
the Counties' Council in January, 1901.

Thomas S. Edwards was born in the county of Grenville, and went to the
front at the time of the Fenian raid in 1866, as a member of Merrickville Rifle
Company, for which service he received a medal and certificate for 160 acres
of land. Subsequently he spent several years in the city of New York, and


about twenty-five years ago came to Iroquois, Ont., where he opened an
office as conveyancer, which calling he still pursues. Mr. Ed wards has always
been successful in business. Several years ago he erected a very handsome
residence, just east of the village, commanding a splendid view of the St.
Lawrence. He was reeve of Iroquois in 1883-4. In 1897, on the introduction
of the new Counties' Council Act, he was elected a representative of his
division, and in the year 1900 was chosen warden. A perusal of the minutes
of the Counties' Council, of which he is still a member, will show that he has
been prominent in that body. He has taken strong ground on the temperance
question; for many years was President of the County Prohibition Assoc-
iation, and it is generally believed the large majorities recorded in Dundas
county in favor of Prohibition were to a considerable measure due to the
energy displayed by him. In Sabbath school work his record is on a par with
his temperance work. He was the only delegate between Kingston and
Ottawa to the World's Sabbath School Convention, held at Jerusalem in 1904.
For many years he has not only been a most consistent member, but likewise
an efficient officer of the Iroquois Methodist church; but his interest does not
cease there, since he is always ready to give a helping hand to anything that
will advance the interests of the community in which he resides, either
morally or materially. Politically, Mr. Edwards is looked upon as an Inde-
pendent Conservative, but is not in sympathy with extreme party politics, and
votes accordingly.

William G. Smyth is the third son of the late William Smyth, a native of
Ireland, who emigrated to Canada in 1834. His mother, daughter of the late
Alexander Rose, was Emma Rose, whose family settled early in Matilda.
William G. was born Nov. 1, 1860, on lot 6, con. 3, Matilda township, the farm
upon which he still resides. He was educated at the public school and Morris-
burg Collegiate Institute. A progressive and sutecessful farmer, he has always
taken an active interest in the Farmers' Institute and in the dairying industry
of this county. His indentiflcation with the Patrons of Industry movement led candidate for that organization in the Federal election of 1896,
but with the consent of the county executive he resigned the candidature some
time previous to the election. In 1897-8 he was deputy reeve of Matilda town-

Online LibraryJ. Smyth CarterThe story of Dundas, being a history of the County of Dundas from 1784 to 1904 → online text (page 9 of 40)